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Henry, Patrick, governor, June 29, 1776-June 1, 1779 (q. v.)
Jefferson, Thomas, governor, June 1, 1779-June 1, 1781 (q. v.).
Fleming, William, councillor and acting governor, son of Leonard and Dorothea Fleming, was born in Jedburgh, Scotland, February 18, 1729. He attended a private school in Dumfries, and later studied surgery at the University of Edinburgh. At the close of his term he entered the British service as a surgeon's mate, and soon after was taken prisoner by the Spaniards. After a rigorous confinement he was released and came to Virginia, where in August, 1755, he entered Washington's regiment. He served as ensign and lieutenant, and in 1762 he was made captain in the regiment commanded by Colonel Adam Stephen. After the peace in 1763 he resumed the practice of his profession in Staunton, where he married Anne, sister of Colonel William Christian, April 9, 1763. He removed to Botetourt county, gave up the practice of medicine, and engaged in the work of a farmer at his home "Belmont." When General Andrew Lewis fought the battle of "Point Pleasant," he was one of his colonels and was badly wounded. In 1776 he was made county lieutenant of Botetourt by the committee of safety, and when the state government was formed he was a senator from the district of Botetourt, Montgomery and Kentucky, and later became member of the council. During the interval between the expiration of Mr. Jefferson's second year as governor, June 1, 1781 and June 12, when General Thomas Nelson was made governor, he exercised the authority of chief magistrate as the only member of the council remaining at the seat of government. he called out the militia and took other means to resist Cornwallis' troops, who had flooded the State, for which acts he was indemnified by the legislature. In 1782 he was appointed chairman of a committee to enquire into the accounts of all commissaries and other agents appointed for the western country. Later he was a member of the convention of 1788 for Botetourt county, and under instructions voted for the constitution. He was a man of strong literary tastes, had one of the finest libraries in Western Virginia, and was a member of the board of trustees of Washington College. He died August 5, 1795.
Nelson, Thomas, Jr., governor, June 12, 1781-November 30, 1781 (q. v.).
Harrison, Benjamin, governor, November 30, 1781-December 1, 1786 (q. v.).
Henry, Patrick, (second term), November 29, 1784-December 1, 1786 (q. v.).
Randolph, Edmund, governor, December 1, 1786-December 1, 1788 (q. v.).
Randolph, Beverley, born at "Chatsworth," Henrico county, 1754, son of Colonel Peter and Lucy Bolling Randolph; his father surveyor of customs, 1749, and long a member of the house of burgesses. He was graduated from William and Mary College, 1771, and was a visitor, 1784; member of general assembly during the revolutionary war, and an ardent patriot. In 1787 he was chosen president of the executive council of Virginia, and on December 1, 1788, succeeded Edmund Randolph as governor for one year. Every governor was eligible for three years, but in 1790 Benjamin Harrison was nominated for the office against Mr. Randolph, who had served but two years. Harrison rejected his candidacy and Randolph was again reëlected. His administration was notable with respect to Indian depredations and the relations of Virginia to Pennsylvania. He died in February, 1797, at his home, "Green Creek," Cumberland county.
Lee, Henry, governor, December 1, 1791-December 1, 1794 (q. v.).
Brooke, Robert, born in Virginia, 1751, son of Richard Brooke, and grandson of Robert Brooke, a skilled surveyor, who was one of Governor Spotswood's knights of the horseshoe. He was educated at Edinburgh University, and on returning home at the beginning of the revolution was captured by Howe, British admiral, and sent back to England, whence he went to Scotland, then to France, and reached Virginia in a French vessel carrying arms for the continentals. He joined Captain Larkin Smith's company of cavalry, was captured near Richmond by Simcoe in 1781, was exchanged, and rejoined the army. In 1794 he represented Spotsylvania county in the house of delegates, and on December 1, of the same year, was elected governor and served two years. He was a Republican, and in 1798 was elected attorney-general of the state, over Bushrod Washington, nephew of General Washington. He was grand master of Masons in Virginia, 1795-97. He died in 1799, while still attorney-general, aged only thirty-eight years. The county of Brooke, formed from Ohio county, now in West Virginia, was named in his honor.
Wood, James, born in Frederick county, in 1750, son of Colonel James Wood, founder of Winchester. In 1775 he was a burgess from Frederick county, and in 1776 a member of the Virginia convention, which appointed him colonel of the Eighth Virginia Regiment. He behaved gallantly at the battle of Brandywine; and at Burgoyne's surrender was put in charge of the prisoners at Charlottesville. In 1781 he was superintendent of prisoners of war in Virginia, and used his own means for their interest. He was president of the last board of officers that arranged for the Virginia line. In 1783, as brigadier-general of state troops, he served efficiently during the Indian troubles. Elected to the executive council in 1784, by seniority he became lieutenant-governor. He was governor from December 1, 1796 to December 1, 1799; and the Richmond armory was erected under his administration. He was in the legislature twelve years, and in the executive council twenty years, and died while so serving, June 16, 1813. He was president of the Society of Cincinnati from October 9, 1784, until his death. His wife, who was Jean, daughter of Rev. John Moncure. was long remembered for her poetic compositions and charitable works.
Monroe, James, governor, December 1, 1799-December 1, 1802 (q. v.).
Page, John, governor, December 1, 1802-December 1, 1805 (q. v.).
Cabell, William, H., was born at "Boston Hill," Cumberland county, Virginia, December 16, 1772. He was a grandson of William Cabell of Warminster, Wiltshire, England, and was son of Colonel Nicholas and Hannah (Carrington) Cabell. He attended a private school, and in February, 1785, entered Hampden-Sidney College. In February, 1790, he entered William and Mary College, as a student of law, under Judge Tucker, where he continued until July, 1793. He was a member of the assembly in 1796, and also in 1798, when he voted for the Virginia resolutions against the alien and sedition laws. He was a Republican, and was presidential elector in 1800 and 1804. In the last-named year he became again a member of the general assembly, but December 1, 1805, became governor, in which office he continued three years, when he was succeeded by John Tyler, the first governor of that name. The trial of Aaron Burr for high treason, and the attack on the frigate Chesapeake by the British sloop-of-war Leopard, contributed to make his administration memorable. In 1808 he was elected a judge of the general court, and in 1811 he became a judge of the court of appeals. After the adoption of the new constitution, in 1830, Judge Cabell was again elected to the court of appeals, and January 18, 1842, he was elected president. He served until 1851, when he retired. He died at Richmond, January 12, 1853, and was interred in Shockhoe hill cemetery. The resolutions adopted by the court of appeals and bar ascribed to him "much of the credit which may be claimed for the judiciary system of Virginia and its literature." He married, March 11, 1805, Agnes Sarah Bell, eldest daughter of Colonel Robert Gamble, of Richmond.
Tyler, John, governor, December 1, 1808-January 11, 1811 (q. v.).
Monroe, James, (2d term), January 11, 1811-December 5, 1811 (q. v.).
Smith, George William, lieutenant and acting governor, was born at "Bathurst," Essex county, Virginia, in 1762, son of Meriwether and Elizabeth (Daingerfield) Smith. He was a lawyer, and was member of the house of delegates for Essex, 1791-1794. He removed to Richmond City, where he was one of the leading lawyers, and a representative in the house of delegates in 1802-1808. In 1805 he was captain of the Richmond Republican Blues. He entered the privy council in 1807, and as lieutenant-governor became the acting governor by reason of the resignation of James Monroe, December 5, 1811. On the 26th of the same month he lost his life in the fire that consumed the Richmond theatre. He married (first) February 7, 1793, Sarah, fourth daughter of Colonel Richard Adams, and (second) Jane, widow of Meriwether Jones, editor of the Richmond "Examiner," and daughter of Dr. Read, of Hanover county. He left issue by the first marriage.
Randolph, Peyton, lieutenant and acting governor, son of Governor Edmund Randolph and Elizabeth Nicholas, his wife, daughter of Robert Carter Nicholas, was born about 1778 and graduated at William and Mary College in 1798. He was elected to the governor's council, and as senior member was acting governor from the death of Lieutenant-Governor George William Smith, December 26, 1811, to January 3, 1812, when James Barbour became governor by election of the general assembly He was an eminent lawyer, and in 1821 became the reporter of the supreme court of appeals. The results of his labors as such "Report of the cases argued and determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1821-1828," were published in six volumes 8 vo., Richmond, 1823-1832. He died at Richmond, of a pulmonary complaint, December 26, 1828.
Barbour, James, born in Orange county, June 10, 1775, son of Colonel Thomas Barbour, who was a member of the house of burgesses from 1769-1776, and the conventions of 1774 and 1775. His education was limited, and chiefly obtained from private tutors, of whom the Rev. James Waddell was one. He was admitted to the bar before he was of age, and was a member of the house of delegates from 1796 to 1812. In this service he advocated Madison resolutions of 1798-99, was author of the anti-dueling law, and in 1809, as speaker, drafted the bill for the literary fund reported by a committee in response to an urgent representation of Governor John Tyler on the needs of education. He was governor from January 3, 1812, and served as such throughout the war with Great Britain. In 1815 he was elected United States senator, and was chairman of the committee on foreign affairs. He opposed the restriction on the admission of Missouri, and John Quincy Adams complimented him by saying that the North had no man equal to him or Henry Clay in ability. He was a senator for ten years, and then was appointed secretary of war by President John Q. Adams, and served till 1828, when Adams sent him minister to England, whence he was recalled by President Jackson in 1829. He was a national Republican, and then a Whig, and in 1839 was president of the convention at Harrisburg, which nominated Harrison and Tyler. He was for many years president of the Humane Society for the education of poor children in Orange county. He was father of B. Johnson Barbour, an orator of much note, and brother of Philip P. Barbour, judge of the United States supreme court.
Nicholas, Wilson Cary, was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, January 31, 1761, son of Robert Carter Nicholas, the distinguished revolutionary patriot. He was graduated from William and Mary in 1779, entered the army, became an officer, and commanded Washington's life guard until it was disbanded about 1783. He represented Albemarle county in the house of delegates in 1784, and in the convention of 1788 called to ratify the constitution of the United States. He served in the legislature in 1789 and 1790 and from 1794 to 1799, when he succeeded Henry Tazewell as United States senator. He warmly supported the administration of Thomas Jefferson in the sixth, seventh, and eighth Congress till December 13, 1804, when he resigned to accept the office of collector of the ports of Norfolk and Portsmouth. This position he held three years, when he was elected to the tenth and eleventh Congresses as a member of the house of representatives. On December 1, 1814, he became governor, serving till December 1, 1816. He died at "Tufton," the residence of his son-in-law, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Albemarle county, October 10, 1820.
Preston, James P., was born at "Smithfield," June 31, 1774, son of Colonel William and Susanna (Smith) Preston. He was a student at William and Mary College 1790-95. In 1709 he organized an artillery company; in 1802 was elected to the state senate. On March 19, 1812, he was made lieutenant-colonel of the Twelfth United States Infantry, and for gallantry during the war with Great Britain was promoted to colonel, and assigned to the Twenty-third Regiment. In the battle Chrystler's Field, November 11, 1813, he was wounded in the thigh, crippling him for life. He succeeded Wilson Cary Nicholas, as governor, December 1, 1816, and served till December 1, 1819. During his administration, the law was enacted establishing the University of Virginia. He was afterward postmaster of Richmond for several years. He died at "Smithfield," Montgomery county, May 4, 1843. He married Anne Taylor, sister of General Robert Barraud Taylor of Norfolk.
Randolph, Thomas Mann, born at "Tuckahoe," Goochland county, October 1, 1768, the eldest son of Thomas Mann Randolph and Anne Cary, his wife. He studied first at William and Mary College, and then at the University of Edinburgh, where his reading was extensive and varied. On February 23, 1799, young Randolph married Martha, daughter of Thomas Jefferson, with whom he afterward made his home at "Monticello," and the White House. He served in the senate in 1793 and 1794, and was a member of the United States house of representatives from 1803 to 1807. During this time a duel with John Randolph of Roanoke, was averted with difficulty. During the war of 1812 he was colonel of the Twentieth United States Infantry. He was governor from December 1, 1819, to December 1, 1822. He died at "Monticello," June 20, 1828, the result of exposure due to his having given away his cloak to a beggar while ridingon the highway. He was a deep student and Jefferson characterized him as "a man of science, sense, virtue and competence." His son, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, a man of great stature, served frequently in the Virginia house of delegates and edited the papers of his grandfather, Thomas Jefferson. Another son, George Wythe Randolph, was secretary of war of the Confederate States.
Pleasants, James, Jr., was born in Goochland county, Virginia, October 24, 1769, son of James Pleasants, and a descendant of John Pleasants, a Quaker, who emigrated from England in 1665. After a thorough school education, he studied law with Judge Fleming and began practice with considerable success. In 1796 he was elected from Goochland county to the house of delegates, and as a Republican supported the resolutions of 1798-99. In 1803 he was chosen clerk of that body, and served until 1811, when he was elected to the house of representatives. He supported Madison's policy during the war of 1812, and became governor, December 1, 1822, which office he held by annual elections until December 1, 1825. He was a member of the convention of 1829-30, his last public service; though twice appointed to judicial position, he declined acceptance from a distrust of his qualifications. He died November 9, 1836, in Goochland county. He left a distinguished son, John Hampden Pleasants, who attained almost unrivaled success as editor of the Richmond "Whig." His grandson, James Pleasants, son of his son, John Hampden, was a distinguished lawyer of Richmond.
Tyler, John, governor, December 1, 1825-March 4, 1827 (q. v.).
Giles, William Branch, son of William Giles and Anne Branch, his wife, was born in Amelia county, Virginia, August 12, 1762. He studied at Hampden-Sidney and Princeton colleges; and from Princeton he went to William and Mary to study law under the great law professor, George Wythe. He began practice in Petersburg, Virginia, where he remained for a number of years. In 1791 he was elected to Congress, and served excepting one session until March, 1803. He was, first, a Federalist, but the proposition to create the United States Bank led to his joining the Republicans. While Alexander Hamilton was secretary of the treasury, Mr. Giles attacked him in the house, accusing him of corruption and peculation, and moved resolutions censuring Hamilton for arbitrary assumption of authority. Giles was opposed to John Jay's treaty with Great Britain and took active part in opposition to that instrument. He was equally against the proposed war with France. In 1798 Giles was a member of the Virginia legislature, where he strongly supported the Virginia resolutions. In 1801 was a presidential elector. In 1804 he succeeded Wilson Cary Nicholas in the United States senate; and, being re-elected, served until March 3, 1815, when he resigned. His position in the senate was prominent, being that of a Republican leader, but he was particularly noticeable for his opposition to the Madison administration. Mr. Giles was in private life from 1811 until 1825, when he was a candidate for the United States senatorship, but was defeated by John Randolph. The next year he was elected to the legislature, and on March 4, 1827 became governor, which office he held until March 4, 1830. In his messages at this time he took strong grounds for resistance against the tariff. Mr. Giles was one of the ablest parliamentarians of his time, an accomplished debater, and was generally compared with Charles James Fox. Mr. Giles published a number of writings, among which were "A Speech on the Embargo Laws" (1808); "Political Letters to the People of Virginia" (1813); a series of letters signed "A Constituent," in the "Richmond Inquirer," in opposition to a plan for general public education (1818). He published in 1824 a letter antagonizing President James Monroe and Henry Clay on account of their interest in the South American cause and that of the Greek revolution, as also the question of the tariff. Mr. Giles died in Albemarle county, Virginia, December 4, 1830.
Floyd, John, born in Jefferson county, April 24, 1783, son of Colonel John Floyd, and a descendant of an early Virginia immigrant. He attended Dickinson (Pennsylvania) College, studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was graduated in 1806, and settled in Montgomery county, Virginia. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1807; major of militia in 1808; surgeon in the Virginia line, 1812, and same year was elected t the house of delegates; was brigadier-general of militia. In 1817 he was elected to Congress, and as a leader in the house wielded a potent influence. He opposed the administration of John Quincy Adams, and aided largely in the election of Jackson. He introduced the first bill for the occupation and settlement of Oregon. He became governor, March 4, 1830, and continued as such till March 4, 1834. In his messages he severely condemned President Jackson for his proclamation against South Carolina, and took ground against military coercion, but he did not believe in the doctrine of nullification. South Carolina gave him her vote for the presidency in 1832. While he was serving as governor, occurred Nat Turner's slave insurrection in Southampton county, and the trial and execution of the leader, Nat Turner. He was in poor health for some time previous to the expiration of his term, and he died from paralysis, August 15, 1837, at Sweet Springs, Montgomery county.
Tazewell, Littleton Waller, son of Henry Tazewell and orothea Elizabeth, daughter of Judge Benjamin Waller, was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, December 17, 1774. He was graduated from William and Mary College in 1792, studied law under John Wickham, of Richmond, and in 1796 was admitted to the bar. The last named year he was elected to the house of delegates, remaining until 1800, supporting the resolutions of 1798 and Madison's report of 1800. As representative to Congress, he, in 1800, succeeded John Marshall. While in Congress, Mr. Tazewell supported Jefferson in the presidential election which fell to the house, thus opposing the claims of Aaron Burr. He declined a re-election to Congress, and removing to Norfolk in 1802, won renown for himself as one of the ablest lawyers in the Union. He was especially prominent as an admiralty or criminal advocate. Roman Catholic priests consulted him about canon law, and London merchants upon points affecting their trade. he was an ardent supporter of the general views and constitutional opinions of Jefferson, although dissenting with equal ardor from various special policies of his administration. Against both France and England he was outspoken, and urged hostilities with each. When public sentiment tended toward war, however, he reversed his position, declaring the administration to be incapable, his opposition being fierce against Mr. Madison. Mr. Tazewell continued to decry the policy that was bringing about the impending struggle with Great Britain, until the declaration of war in 1812, when he gave the government his loyal support. In 1816 he became a member of the Virginia legislature, where his profound knowledge of economical and fiscal questions gave him an active part in the deliberations of that body. Under Monroe he was one of the United States commissioners instrumental in the purchase of Florida from Spain. From 1824 to 1833 Mr. Tazewell was once more a member of the United States senate. In 1829 President Jackson offered him the mission to England, which he declined. During this second senatorial career he was most conspicuous as chairman of the committee on foreign relations. His report on the Panama mission is widely known, as are also his addresses upon the tariff, the piracy act, the bankrupt act, and the prerogatives of the president in the appointment of foreign ministers. He opposed the administration of John Quincy Adams helped to elect Andrew Jackson, but opposed his policy against South Carolina. In 1834 he resigned from the senate, after having made himself particularly antagonistic to the presidential action in removing the United States deposits from the Bank of the United States. He joined the Whig party formed in 1834 of all the opponents of Jackson, denouncing the proclamation against the South Carolina movement, though he did not approve the doctrine of nullification. In January, 1834, he was elected governor and entered upon his duties March 31, following. When the legislature framed resolutions instructing their senators to vote for expunging from the Journal of the United States senate the resolutions censuring General Jackson for removing the deposits from the United Stats Bank, he resigned in disgust April 30, 1836, and retired to private life at his elegant seat in Norfolk, Virginia, never afterwards appearing in public service. He was revered in Virginia for his great ability, and his appearance was majestic and commanding. He died in Norfolk, May 6, 1860.
Robertson, Wyndham, lieutenant and acting governor, was a son of William Robertson and Elizabeth Bolling, his wife, and grandson of William Robertson, baillie of Edinburgh, Scotland. He was born near Manchester, opposite to Richmond, Virginia, January 26, 1803, and first attended private schools and afterwards completed his education at William and Mary College in 1821. He was a member of the council of state in 1830 and again in 1833. in 1834, at the first meeting of the James river and Kanawha Company he proposed, instead of a canal to Lynchburg, a railroad to progress ultimately westward to the Mississippi, which showed his wisdom and far-sightedness. March 31, 1836, he became lieutenant-governor, and on April 30, acting governor, by virtue of the resignation of Governor Tazewell. He served till March 31, 1837; after which he served in the legislature, 1838-1841, and 1858-1865. As a states' rights Unionist, he opposed both secession and coercion, but approved the former alternative when Lincoln resorted to force. He was a man of extensive literary attainments, and one of his most interesting productions was "Pocahontas, alia Matoaka, and her Descendants." He died at Abingdon, Washington county, February 11, 1888.
Campbell, David born at Royal Oaks, Botetourt county, August 2, 1779, son of John and Elizabeth (McDonald) Campbell. He had only such education as frontier schools would afford. In his fifteenth year he was made ensign of militia, and he was afterward engaged in the clerk's office at Abingdon. In 1779 he organized a light infantry company, of which he was captain. He then studied law, but never practiced. He was deputy clerk of Washington county, 1802-1812. July 6, 1812, he was made major of the Twelfth United States Infantry; promoted to lieutenant-colonel, Twentieth Regiment; participated in the St. Lawrence river campaign, and incurred such rheumatic ailments that he resigned, June 28, 1814. Returning home, he was aide-de-camp to Governor James Barbour, soon afterward commissioned brigadier-general, and appointed colonel of the Third Virginia Cavalry, January 25, 1815. He served as county clerk till 1820, when he was elected to state senate, 1820; clerk of Washington county, 1824, holding until March 31, 1837, when he became governor. He had supported Jackson for the presidency, but when the democratic party brought forward the sub-treasury and standing army measures, he became an active member of the new Whig party formed of many elements. As governor, he earnestly urged the common school system. He died March 19, 1859.
Gilmer, Thomas Walker, born at Gilmerton, Albemarle county, April 6, 1802, son of George Gilmer. He was educated by private tutors, and studied law under his uncle, Peachey R. Gilmer, at Liberty, Bedford county. He was a delegate, in 1825, to the Staunton convention called to agitate a constitutional convention; during the Jackson presidential campaign in 1828, he edited the "Virginia Advocate"; member of the house of delegates, 1829-37, serving on important committees, among them that on revolutionary claims, and later was appointed by Governor Floyd to prosecute such claims on behalf of the state. He supported Jackson for the presidency, but when that executive issued his proclamation against South Carolina, Mr. Gilmer, with hundreds of other Democrats, aided in the forming of the Whig party. In 1838 he became speaker of the house of delegates, and was re-elected as such in 1839. He became governor, March 31, 1840, when he made a tour of the state, to examine all public works, and defrayed all his expenses out of private funds. During his administration, occurred the notable dispute with Governor Seward, of New York, concerning fugitive slaves, Seward having refused to surrender such, and Gilmer, in turn, refusing to surrender criminal refugees from new York and the legislature declining to sustain him in the latter position, Governor gilmer sent to the legislature an able message in vindication of himself, and resigned the chair, March 18, 1841. He was immediately elected to Congress and gave his support to President Tyler, when Mr. Clay ruptured the Whig party by his bank and tariff propositions. He was a strong advocate of the annexation of Texas. In 1844 he was appointed secretary of the navy by President Tyler, but in less than two weeks came to his death by an explosion on the steamship "Princeton," in the forty-second year of his age. He married Anne E. Baker, daughter of Hon. John Baker, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Patton, John M., lieutenant and acting governor, son of Robert Patton, a native of Scotland, and merchant of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Ann Gordon Mercer, daughter of General Hugh Mercer, who fell at Princeton in 1777, was born August 10, 1797. He was liberally educated and practiced law in Fredericksburg. In 1830, he was elected to Congress and served till 1838, when he removed to Richmond, and was elected a member of the council of state, and as lieutenant-governor succeeded as acting governor, on the resignation of Governor Thomas Walker Gilmer, March 18, 1841, until the expiration of his yearly term, March 31, 1841. In 1849, he was associated with Conway Robinson in a revision of the code of Virginia. He died at Richmond, October 28, 1858, and was buried in Shockoe Hill Cemetery.
Rutherfoord, John, lieutenant and acting governor, born in Richmond, Virginia, December 8, 1792, son of Thomas Rutherfoord, merchant, and political writer of distinction. He was educated at Princeton College, studied law, but practiced only a short time. He was many years president of the Mutual Assurance Society, the first institution of its kind in the state; also first captain of the Richmond Fayette Artillery and rose to the rank of colonel. He was a states-rights Democrat till 1833, and a Whig until 1837, when he returned to the Democrats on the sub-treasury question. In 1826 he was elected to the house of delegates and continued in that body till 1839 when he was elected as one of the councillors of state. On March 31, 1841, he was elected president of the council and succeeded John M. Patton as acting governor. During this time he continued the controversy with Governor Seward, of New York, begun by Governor Gilmer. In 1836, he was elected president of the Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia, in which position he served efficiently for thirty years. At an entertainment at his house General Scott pronounced the eulogy upon Colonel Robert E Lee, which contributed to the calling of that great soldier to command the virginia forces in 1861. Governor Rutherfoord married, April 24, 1816, Anne Coles, and died at Richmond, August 3, 1866, leaving descendants.
Gregory, John M., lieutenant and acting governor, the son of John M. Gregory, Sr., and Letitia Graves, his wife, was born in Charles City county, Virginia, July 8, 1804. He was a descendant of early settlers in Virginia and his grandfather, John Gregory, was killed in action during the revolution. His education was acquired at the "old field school," and, being poor, he toiled on the farm. He taught school in James City county, and in 1830 graduated as Bachelor of Law at William and Mary College. The same year he was elected to the house of delegates from James City county, and continued in that body by successive elections till 1841, when he was elected by the legislature a member of the council of state. He became lieutenant-governor on March 31, 1842, and as such succeeded John Rutherfoord as acting governor till January 1, 1843, when he was succeeded in the executive office by James McDowell. In accordance with an act of the general assembly, passed December 14, 1842, the term now for which the governors of Virginia were elected began on the first day of January next succeeding their elections. In 1853 he was appointed United States district attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, serving till the year 1860, when he was elected judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, serving in this capacity until 1866. At this date he was removed from office by the Federal military authorities, and, resuming his practice as a lawyer, was soon elected commonwealth's attorney for Charles City county. This post he held till 1880, when he resigned on account of feeble health and retired to Williamsburg, where he died in 1888. He married Miss Amanda Wallace, of Petersburg, Virginia, by whom he left a large family.
McDowell, James, born at "Cherry Grove," Rockbridge county, October 11, 1795, son of Colonel James and Sarah (Preston) McDowell, and a descendant of John McDowell, who was killed by Indians in 1742. He studied at Yale and Princeton colleges, graduating from the latter in 1810; then studied law under the famous lawyer, Chapman Johnston, but never practiced. He entered the legislature in 1831, and after the Nat Turner insurrection he advocated the gradual abolition of slavery. His brilliant speech on nullification in 1833 made him a rival of John Tyler for the senatorship, but he was defeated. In politics he was a Jackson Democrat. He became governor on January 1, 1843, but before the end of his term of three years was elected to the United States house of representatives, succeeding his deceased brother-in-law, William Taylor, serving until 1851 with conspicuous ability. His most memorable effort was his speech favoring the admission of California to the Union. He died at Lexington, August 24, 1851. He married his cousin Susan, daughter of General Francis Preston, and Sarah B. Campbell, his wife, daughter of General William Campbell, the hero of King's Mountain.
Smith, William, born in King George county, Virginia, September 26, 1797, son of Caleb Smith and Mary Waugh, his wife. He was educated at private schools and became a lawyer in 1836. He was elected to the state senate, was re-elected, and resigned after the first session of his second term. In 1827 he became a large mail contractor; the service expanded to such degree that he claimed additional compensation, from which was fixed upon him the sobriquet "Extra Billy Smith," which well characterized his extraordinary abilities. He was a Democrat in politics, and in 1841-43 was a Congressmen. On January 1, 1846, he became governor, for the term of three years. In 1850 he removed to California, and was president of its constitutional convention. He returned to Virginia, and served as Congressman, 1858-61. In 1861, though sixty-five years old, he volunteered in the Confederate army, was made colonel of the Forty-ninth Virginia Infantry, bor himself gallantly in numerous engagements; and was promoted to brigadier-general and major-general. After brief service in the Confederate Congress, he again became governor, January 1, 1864, and when Richmond was evacuated in April, 1865, he removed to Lynchburg, and afterwards to Danville, surrendering the executive office May 9, 1865. After the war he engaged in farming at Warrenton. In 1877, though eighty-one years of age, he was re-elected to the state senate, and the next year came within a few votes of election to the United States senate, soon afterward retiring to private life. He was an ardent temperance man, and a model of chivalry and politeness. "His marvelous activity, fearless character and powerful talents place him among the remarkable men of the age." He died at Warrenton, Virginia, May 18, 1887, aged ninety years.
Floyd, John Buchanan, born in Blacksburg, June 1, 1806, eldest son of Governor John Floyd and Letitia Preston, his wife. He was graduated from the College of South Carolina, in 1826, and began the practice of law in 1828. He resided in Arkansas, 1836-39, then came back to Virginia and settled in Washington county, Virginia, where he engaged in law practice. He served several years in the legislature, and became governor January 1, 1849. During his administration the Washington monument, which graces the public square in Richmond was commenced, and his administration was able and efficient. He was made secretary of war in 1857 by President Buchanan, and was subjected to unjust charges in the North, because he removed some troops to the West in 1860, though the hostility of the Indians demanded it. He was also charged with covertly conveying government munitions of war to the South, but an investigation by a special Congressional committee exonerated him fully. When Major Robert Anderson moved his garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, Floyd considered that the status quo which the administration promised the South Carolina commissioners to preserve had been broken, and on the refusal of the president to restore the troops he resigned. In September, 1861, he was made brigadier-general, Confederate States army, and held command with General Wise, in West Virginia. He was transferred to Tennessee, and in February, 1862, by hard fighting extricated his command and escaped with it from Fort Donelson. He fell under the displeasure of President Davis for thus leaving Generals Pillow and Buckner, and was relieved of his command. The legislature of Virginia did not approve of this action, and made him major-general in the state service and directed him to recruit and organize a division of troops from among the classes not embraced in the conscription of the Southern Confederacy. He raised 2000 men and operated on the Big Sandy river with success. He was attacked with cancer of the stomach and force to return home. He died near Abingdon, Washington county, Virginia, August 26, 1863. General Floyd married early in life his cousin, Sarah Buchanan, but left no issue.
Johnson, Joseph, second son of Joseph and Abigail Johnson, was born in Orange county, New York, December 10, 1785. When he was but a lad, his parents removed to Harrison county, Virginia, which was his home for over seventy years. He was captain in the war of 1812; in 1818 was elected to the legislature, and in 1822 was again re-elected and at the end of his term declined re-election. He defeated the able and eloquent Philip Doddridge for Congress in 1823 and 1825; in 1835 was again elected, serving six years, as a Jackson Democrat, and declining further service; in 1843 was obliged by his party to re-enter Congress and in 1847 declined re-election. He was in the constitutional convention of 1850, was elected governor by the legislature, and subsequently by the people, after the adoption of the new constitution, defeating the eminent Judge George W. Summers, who represented the Whig party. In this office he served from January 1, 1852, till January 1, 1856. "He was, perhaps, the only man in Virginia who had been before the people continuously for forty years and was never defeated in any of his aspirations." Upon the expiration of his term as governor, Mr. Johnson retired to private life. When the war between the states broke out in 1861, he advised his people to stand by their section. He died in the ninety-second year of his age, February 27, 1877.
Wise, Henry Alexander, born at Drummondtown, Accomac county, December 3, 1806, son of Major John and Sarah (Cropper) Wise. he was orphaned at the age of six years and his early training was by an aunt and Major John Custis an uncle by marriage. He was a student at Washington (Pennsylvania) College; studied law under Judge Tucker, at Winchester, Virginia; removed to Nashville, Tennessee, soon returning to Virginia. He was elected to Congress over Richard Coke, who was suspected of nullification tendencies, to which he was opposed; a duel ensued, in which Coke was slightly wounded in the arm. Mr. Wise was returned to Congress for six consecutive terms, and rose to the highest prominence. He adhered to President Tyler in his controversy with Congress, and with Thomas W. Gilmer and others belonged to what was known as "The Corporal's Guard." In 1843 he was nominated as minister to France, and was rejected by the senate; in 1844 became minister to Brazil, where he remained until 1847. In 1850 he was elected to the state convention; in 1855, nominated for governor as a Democrat, defeating the American (or know-nothing) candidate when that party seemed irresistible. He was governor from January 1, 1856, till January 1, 1860, and in 1859 suppressed the John Brown outbreak, ending in the execution of Brown. In 1860 he was prominently mentioned as a presidential candidate. In 1861 he was a member of the secession convention, and advocated "fighting in the Union" for redress. When the decision was forced, he voted for secession. At the outbreak of the war he was made brigadier-general, and sent to Western Virginia, where he won the battle of Scary Creek, but a misunderstanding with General Floyd led to his recall. Ordered to Roanoke Island, he remained until Burnside's assault, in which his eldest son fell Captain O. Jennings Wise; he himself was ill at Nag's Head, and escaped. He was later in the defenses of Chaffin's Farm, then transferred to South Carolina; in May, 1864, he reached Peterburg with his command, just in time to resist the first attack on the city, which he held at great odds; he remained here until the final movements of General Lee, and his was the last command engaged at Appomattox. After the war he resumed law practice in Richmond, an beyond brief service as commissioner to fix the Virginia-Maryland boundary lines, he took no part in public affairs. He was author of "Seven Decades of the Union," a most valuable work. "He possessed a remarkable and marked individuality, being one of the most eloquent public speaker of a period when oratory was a most common weapon." He died in Richmond September 12, 1878.